Re: Draining the Swamp: A Technical User's Experience

> In the case of configuring X's HS and VS, you could probably ruin your
> graphics card or you screen if you pushed it a little too far...

Newer cards are supposedly a lot better. With the virus writers lobbing the
occasionally destructive special out its becoming important that hardware
cannot be destroyed by a virus. Unfortunately they are still taking baby
steps so the current situation is right now not terribly good.

> Yes, X is not the easiest thing to make particular weird configurations,
> but wouldn't that be something somewhat more uncommon to do? Jim, you
> can tell us best, probably, is it common? How can we make that better?

Much of this is that X (and the config tools) take a very aggressive and in
your face approach to configuration. 

I expect to be able to type

	rm /etc/X11/XF86Config

and have it work

Lets go through the configuration item by item:

ServerLayout - easily defaulted to 1 mouse, 1 keyboard, 1 screen

Fonts -
	Try and connect to the standard font server paths and check they
	are root owned and work.

	Failing that scan the default places fonts are installed (maybe even
	query the package manager) - and you have a workable set of font 
	paths. Compile in "fixed" as a last resort

Modules -
	Scan the default Xserver directory, against the list of items
	we know are needed. Load those that match. We already know if we
	need font server or font modules

InputDevice -
	Keyboard is boiler plate

Mouse -
	Linux default /dev/mouse and then query it using the code from
	gpm or kudzu. Kudzu can find and set up almost all mouse
	arrangements except some more obscure ones

Monitor -
	Query it directly. If that fails 640x480 VGA mode with VESA modes
	also list for ctrl-alt-+/-

Video Card -
	Xconfigurator/Kudzu has code that gets almost all cases right - for
	hard cases pick VGA16. When memory size is not autodetectable 
	assume and wire for the worst case setup.

Now thats a happy armwave over some quite complex problems. For each of
those problems however code already appears to exist to deal with it.


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